Logo 2016

Fifteenth Annual Conference
Latinos in the Heartland: Building Bridges, Dialogue, and Opportunity
June 8-10, 2016
Columbia, Missouri

 Last Updated: 10 May, 2016

2014 Conference
Info from the 2015 Conference

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About the Cambio de Colores 2016 Conference

The conference will be located at the beautiful conference center at the Courtyard Marriott in Columbia, Missouri. Directions to the Marriott are available here. Please note that the Columbia bus system COMO Connect's pink route goes to the venue.

See the Call for Presentations for details about the conference, its themes, how to submit a presentation, and paper criteria.

Communities throughout the Midwest have seen dramatic demographic changes in the last three decades, including the arrival of large numbers of immigrants who are settling in rural and urban areas. Since 2002, the Cambio de Colores (Change of Colors) Conference has annually brought together community leaders and policymakers, those who provide services to newcomers in changing communities, researchers, and other professionals to discuss the issues resulting from these changes.

The theme this year, “Building Bridges, Dialogue, and Opportunity”, emphasizes the need for developing connections among the diverse groups that exist in our communities, facilitating dialogues that increase understanding, and motivating people to engage in processes that create opportunities for people to address differences and facilitate greater integration. As world migrations continue to surge this year, there is interest in building our communities to be more adaptive and to integrate newcomers, knowing that our communities grow stronger when they grow together and learn to respect differences. The movements for racial and economic justice on campuses and in communities have confirmed the need for more conversations, community work, research, and policy changes around issues of integration and understanding. While this conference focuses on the integration of Latinos and other immigrants, the planning committee encourages attendees to think broadly about how lessons learned at Cambio de Colores can be applied to other contexts.

Over the past fifteen years, this conference has served as a hub for researchers and practitioners to take stock of how our communities are adapting to changes and share experiences of how to improve community wellbeing and the integration of Latinos, minorities, and immigrants. While native and foreign-born Latinos may constitute the majority of new arrivals in these regions, the conference is also interested in immigrants from other areas of the world. The integration of these very diverse groups is being studied by academics and pursued by stakeholders, as the newcomers seek to become part and parcel of the social, economic, and cultural fabric of their new communities.

Call for Presentations

Cambio de Colores thus serves as a unique venue to share, learn, discuss, and identify critical areas where the development of information and promising practices will facilitate the successful transition of newcomers into communities large and small. The conference organizers seek presentations, posters, and panels on the conference themes described in this call, as well as workshops targeted to community members, leaders, and officials with the tools necessary to address these changes in ways that are sustainable and beneficial to all. Students are invited to participate in the student poster competition, as well as all parts of the conference.

Led by the University of Missouri, Cambio de Colores is a collaborative effort that includes University of Missouri Extension, the campuses of the Missouri system, and other educational institutions in the Midwest and Southern regions, as well as government and private organizations. Since 2009, the conference has benefited from the cooperation of the interstate initiative on “Latinos and Immigrants in Midwestern Communities,” North Central Education and Research Activity 216 (NCERA 216).

The conference convenes public and private service providers, grassroots organizations, education and healthcare providers, academic researchers and extension specialists, state and local government institutions, policymakers, corporations, and newcomers themselves. The conference program focuses and builds on the sharing of university, government, and community resources, linking academic studies to the more applied perspective and best practices of people and institutions working at the heart of the changing communities. This synergy is the signature characteristic of this conference, which engages a wide array of stakeholders in economic and social development.

Major conference themes include: Health, Education, Youth Development, Civil Rights & Political Participation, Entrepreneurship & Economic Development, and Change & Integration.

The Call for Presentations was released in November 2015 and the deadline for abstracts for proposed presentations is February 1, 2016. This year we also will have a poster competition for students. Please join our announcement list to ensure you receive these documents.

The past Cambio de Colores events have archived pages, including program, abstracts, and speakers.